CBL assists bee honey industry in Uva

Wednesday, 10 August 2011 01:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The corporate magnanimity of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL) the manufacturers of popular Munchee Biscuits has once again been rewarded with international recognition with the prestigious ARTGOLD Programme of the UNDP heeding the request of CBL to continue its assistance for Phase II of the UNDP sponsored farmer assistance project launched three years ago in 2008/2009.

Phase I of the programme which was set afloat in April 2009, envisaged the increase of honey production of the selected project area by 102%. The project involved the free provision of a variety of equipment and training required for clean honey production.

Comprehensive training and follow up programme, backed by the attractive guaranteed price scheme for the honey and overall support of the company’s sophisticated marketing net work has resulted in the success of this project.

As a result of the many gestures of generosity of equipment as well as training skills from the sponsors the project achieved an overall increase of 102% in the honey harvest at the end of the year one. The number of actively involved bee keeping farmers also increased from 150 to 325 showing a 116% increase in the participation.

Sri Lanka imports about 60-70 tonnes of honey annually. With the availability of ideal climatic conditions, a wide array of nectar bearing flora, the available technical expertise and an ever increasing demand, immense potential exists in this industry as a profitable business venture. Bee keeping does not require full time involvement of labour and 25-30 colonies could be managed by a single person while being employed in any other venture on full time basis.

Phase II of the project which was launched in late June 2011, will mainly cover villages coming under the Bandarawela, Dambawinna, Keppetipola, Boralanda and Bogaha Kumbura Agrarian Service centres involving over 10 villages.

At the launch of the phase II, 500 bee boxes, 200 smokers, 200 face guards and 30 centrifugal honey extractors were distributed among the bee keepers. When compared to phase I, this is a 100% increase of the equipment supplied. The project also includes a series of comprehensive training programmes for the new entrants and the experienced.

CBL also plans to provide these villages a special identity by naming them as ‘Honey Villages’ by the end of 2011 by further improving availability of equipment, technical skills and infrastructure.

Project Manager Aruna Lokupothagamage mentioned that CBL was willing to extend this project to the other areas of the country as well and invited the leaders of the community organisations to use this opportunity.

The launch was a demonstration of highly successful joint venture involving private and private sector organisations and the UNDP.